Announcements WashU News End User Services Enterprise Applications Home Page Feature News & Events

What’s Happening in EUS: New Machine Model Testing in WashU IT Quality Assurance

As technology advances, older computer models are no longer produced and replaced by newer models featuring new technology. There is a need for End User Services, specifically The WashU IT Depot, to update the computers and docks it offers based on the new models offered by Dell and Apple. Before the Depot adds the new models to their catalog, the new models must be able to work in the Washington University environment. As soon as a new model is introduced, the Depot orders one and sends it to the WashU IT Quality Assurance (QA) lab for testing.

What information will QA need to begin testing? For computers, engineering must provide any software updates required, such as drivers. For docks, QA will need to know which computer models they are designed to work with. For all new device models, QA will need to know what features that model has that will require testing, such as touch screen, stylus, etc.

For each new Dell Computer model, QA receives a Depot request to confirm it can be imaged. The quality assurance team tests the new Dell model using the current production image at Washington University, but we do more than that. It is important that we look at what happens after the machine has been scanned, and what happens once it has been delivered to the customer. This process is to ensure everything is working, and the customer can be supported using the remote access (BeyondTrust) and security tools (Cisco Secure endpoint and Alertus desktop). The team will create a test script that will validate all the drivers are loaded, the machine has been joined to the domain, and an object created in Active Directory. We confirm that the above support applications are installed, running, and connecting as expected. The script tests for network connectivity, installing and uninstalling from Software Center, confirming Microsoft office, Teams, and Outlook work. Additionally, it will test printing, adding a peripheral, such as a DVD player, and any specifics for that model.

Compared to older Mac tests, the new ones are slightly different. Instead of imaging, the new Mac must be successfully enrolled into Jamf. The support applications, such as BeyondTrust, Alertus, etc must be confirmed, installed and connected. Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Teams are tested, as well as most of the same testing completed for Windows models. QA also confirms that VMWare Horizon and Citrix/Epic work on the new Mac model.

During testing, QA works closely with the Depot and engineering to resolve any issues that arise. One recent test, was for a dock that is supposed to work for multiple computer models, both Windows and Mac. The dock allows the computer to connect to four separate monitors. In order to get the dock to work with the different models, QA worked with Depot techs to figure out driver and setup solutions. Following that testing, QA wrote up recommendations that techs might find helpful when setting up the dock.

QA recommendations are developed during testing. These are sometimes to point out information that techs might need to deploy the new device, such as the dock setup information mentioned above. QA also mentions any aspects of the device that could generate end user complaints.

After testing is completed and issues have been addressed, QA returns the new device and any QA recommendations to the Depot. The device is now ready for the Depot to begin their process of transitioning their stock, and available ServiceNow catalog item selections over to the new device model.